Juridical Science

A CWRU law student sitting among the stacks of law journals in CWRU law library
Doctorate of Juridical Science - International

About the Program

Case Western Reserve University’s Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) program is designed for you to earn the highest research degree in law within your specialized field of study. Obtaining this degree, which is perfect for international law students, will qualify you to return to your home country and work in academia or the upper echelons of government. Our program typically lasts three to four years and requires full-time residency on campus for at least the first two years.

What to Expect

The Doctor of Juridical Science will prepare you for positions in academic leadership, legal research or policy making. Our faculty advisors, who are among the most highly cited legal scholars in the United States, supervise one to two students, giving them plenty of time to focus on your individualized aspirations. Along with regular meetings with your advisor, you will meet weekly with other SJD students for seminars that will help you master the necessary legal research and writing skills needed to complete your dissertation. In addition, you are assigned a law librarian to assist you with your research and encouraged to take supplementary classes to enhance your expertise for your dissertation.

Quick Fact
Our extremely diverse global legal family spans more than 80 countries including graduates from China, Ireland, Italy, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

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Beyond the Classroom

We are located in University Circle, Cleveland, Ohio, one of the nation’s highest concentrations of cultural attractions and performing arts venues. As an international student, you will be glad to know that neighborhoods near the law school are surrounded by an eclectic community that students are happy to call home. Just a five-minute walk from the law school, Uptown Apartments live within a thriving retail, dining and artistic development. Many students live in Cleveland Heights (Coventry and Cedar Fairmount), where there are plenty of opportunities for social outings at nearby restaurants and pubs. Shaker Square is another popular area among students that’s filled with small shops and theaters. 

For more information about places to live while studying at Case Western Reserve University, please visit our off campus housing website.

By the Numbers


 in international law, U.S. News & World Report


faculty national ranking for scholarly impact, Heald and Sichelman Study


years of full-time study

Admissions Details

As an SJD applicant, you should have a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from an accredited law school in the United States or another common law country. You will be required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores.

Enrollment is limited. If you're applying for the fall semester, you should submit your application and thesis proposal no later than April 1. If you're applying for the spring semester, you should submit your application materials by Oct. 15.  

The Office of Global Legal Studies will match SJD students with law faculty who have similar research interests and who are available to mentor SJD students. There is no need for you to contact law professors. If admitted, you'll be assigned a faculty advisor at the start of your first semester. 

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